ANNAPOLIS—On Wednesday, the People’s Commission to Decriminalize Maryland will hold a virtual press conference, open to the public, to announce its priorities for the 2022 legislative session.
When: Wednesday, January 19 at 10am
Link to Register: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwof-utrjouH9eQwbiL-MOlxCQJqYJkRR3R
Speakers (others TBD):
- Jeremy LaMaster, Executive Director, FreeState Justice (Bodily Autonomy working group)
- Thomas Higdon, Senior Program Manager (Drug Policy working group)
- Christopher Dews, Senior Policy Advocate, Job Opportunities Task Force (Poverty working group)
- Gabriela Sevilla, Esq., Youth Attorney at the National Homelessness Law Center (Unhoused working group)
Convened by OSI-Baltimore in 2019, the People’s Commission is made up of 28 organizations representing people historically targeted and marginalized by local and state criminal and juvenile laws based on their race, gender, disability, or socio-economic status.
Among the Commission’s priorities for the 2022 legislative session:
- Removing lingering sodomy laws that are still being used to arrest and charge sexual activity between consenting adults.
- Passing the Pregnant Person’s Dignity Act which would prohibit the subjection of pregnant people, or those experiencing pregnancy loss or termination, to Maryland’s criminal justice and civil court systems.
- Supporting a path to Cannabis legalization with a focus on reparative justice and inclusion for communities and individuals most impacted by cannabis enforcement.
- Providing access to safe supplies that reduce the spread of disease and remove barriers to community-based programs that connect people to life-saving programs.
- Reducing expungement waiting periods for nonviolent misdemeanors and felonies.
- Amending failure to obey a lawful order to include clear language as to when a police officer may issue a lawful order and reducing the fine penalties.
- Amending the Maryland education code to stop criminalizing student behavior.
- Juvenile justice and juvenile court reform including expanding opportunities for diversion to community-based services.